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How to Compost: food digester (Green Cone)


The Green Cone is a food digester which is different in operation to a compost bin.  Food digesters break down your food waste into a nutrient rich liquid that seeps into the soil in your garden and do not produce compost.

What to digest

You can put the following materials in your Green Cone:
Dairy products
Egg shells (crushed)
Food scraps (cooked and uncooked)


Meat (raw and cooked)
Small bones
Tea bags & coffee grounds
Vegetable scraps (raw and cooked)

You should not put the following materials in your Green Cone:
Garden waste - This will not break down very quickly and will block the basket. Home composting is a better way to deal with these materials.
Large bones - These will not break down very quickly and will block the basket.
Glass, plastics, plastic bags and metals – These will not break down in a Green Cone. These should be separated from food waste and recycled or reused whenever possible. For more information on your local recycling facilities, visit Sort It.


Siting your Green Cone

Put your Green Cone in an area that is easy to get to all year around. This will make it easy for you to add new materials.

Preferably your Green Cone should be installed away from your home, in a sunny location on well-drained soil.

Although your Green Cone will work best in sandy or loamy soil, it can be used on heavy or shallow soils. In these cases remove an additional 4-6 inches (10-15cm) of soil beneath the basket and replace with rocks or sand to improve drainage. If you have rocky or very compacted soil, you may need to use a pick axe to make the hole for the basket. This can be quite hard work so it may be best to make sure you are in good health before starting, or ask a friend to help.

Place the Green Cone basket in the hole, replace the soil around the basket and screw the cone section to the basket. Make sure that the bottom of the cone section (the lip) is covered with soil.


How the Green Cone works

The Green Cone is designed to use sunlight to heat the contents of the cone section and thus speeds up the natural break down process carried out by bacteria. The bacteria break down food waste into water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of organic material.

Adding materials

Your Green Cone will work best if it is ‘fed’ little but often. Ideally food scraps should be emptied into the digester on a daily basis.

The amount of waste your Green Cone can digest each day depends on the temperature, population of bacteria and the mix of food waste you produce. Your Green Cone will work best with a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and meat.

Accelerator powder

The accelerator powder is simply a mixture of natural bacteria on a cereal base. When added to your Green Cone it boosts the population of safe bacteria and helps to keep your Green Cone working properly.

If your Green Cone is in a shady place, or if it is cold for long periods of time, you can speed up the digestion process by adding accelerator powder. Simply shake a small amount of the jar on top of food waste before emptying your caddy into the Green Cone.

It may also be beneficial to use the powder for the first week after installing the Green Cone to encourage the growth of bacteria.

Emptying your Green Cone

If your Green Cone is in a sunny position on well-drained soil, it may never need emptying. However, if the amount of organic material remains above the ground level for several weeks then your Green Cone may need emptying.

To empty your Green Cone simply take off the cone section, shovel out the most digested contents on the bottom of the basket, and either put them in a compost bin or dig them into your garden. Then return the top layer of undigested waste into the basket and put the cone section back on.


Using your Green Cone:
  • Produces a nutrient rich liquid which feeds the plants in your garden
  • Conserves the Earth’s natural resources.
  • Saves energy and reduces the risk of global warming.
  • Reduces the need for landfill.
Green Cone Waste Journey

For further details on Green Cones and information on where to buy food digesters please visit Sort It.
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